Arbitration is a popular method of dispute resolution, especially in commercial contexts. It involves the appointment of an arbitrator or panel of arbitrators to make a decision on the matter at hand. Once the arbitrator has made their determination, they will issue an award that sets out the decision and any amounts to be paid. This award can then be enforced by the judicial system.
However, it is important to note that courts can and do define the limits of an arbitrator's authority in individual cases. This is done while still granting due deference to arbitral decisions that are fairly interpreted and extracted from the parties' contracts. For example, the Massachusetts District Court refused to set aside an arbitration award due to the arbitrator adjusting their award to meet the conditions of the agreement. On the other hand, if an arbitral award is not based on the actual provisions of a relevant contract, but rather on the personal sense of justice and public policies of an individual arbitrator, it can be successfully challenged and annulled by courts. When parties agree to resolve disputes through arbitration, they are free to agree on the powers that the arbitral tribunal may exercise during the procedure.
However, if they want a more detailed final arbitration award, they must clearly indicate this in their contract. Recent cases have illustrated that reasoned judicial review of arbitral awards and the power of arbitrators to issue them are feasible and practical. This is something that parties should not hesitate to exercise, especially when Congress has expressly provided for it. In conclusion, arbitration is a popular method of dispute resolution and awards issued by arbitrators can be enforced by the judicial system.
However, it is important to note that courts can define limits on an arbitrator's authority in individual cases and that awards not based on actual provisions of a contract can be successfully challenged and annulled.